7 INCREDIBLE DAYS IN SANTORINI, THE COMPLETE GUIDE & ITINERARY

After taking you towards the top of Swiss Alps on a train, through the Dutch capital on a bike and to some of the best restaurants in Prague we decided to splash a bit of salty sea water on you with our other top tip.

It’s January 2017 and we are already thinking of where to go for our pre-wedding summer break. The idea of visiting a Greek island has been on our minds for quite some time now, and after watching an infinite number of docs about Greece, Santorini became the holiday destination before we tied the knot.

Of course we wonder, how do we get there? Can we take a direct flight? What about accommodation and things to do? What is the food going to be like? Well, if questions occur to as well, then sit back and read this.

THE GUIDE

How to get there?

You have to remember that not every island in Greece has an airport. Fortunately, Santorini is one of the islands in the Cyclades group that actually does have one; even better over 20 airlines offer seasonal direct flights to get there from many places in Europe. If you want to forgo more comfort on board a short duration flight (sub 3 hours from most EU/UK capitals) and rather prefer to save money for trips, food, or souvenirs you can simply travel with low cost airlines.

When we booked tickets we flew with Eurowings straight from Vienna but you can get there even with Easyjet from London Gatwick, Manchester, Milan – Malpensa and Venice, also with Condor from Munich, Stuttgart or Frankfurt or with Vueling from Barcelona, Rome – Fiumicino or Florence. As we already mentioned this list is much longer that you can easily access here and fly with whatever airline you want to.

Our return flight tickets with Eurowings:

  • Price: 430 € for 2 adults
  • Departure: Vienna International Airport
  • Season: High (9th June – 16th June)

The international airport known as Kartikos Aerolimenas Santorinis is located near Kamari – which is precisely 6 km away. To travel to your hotel you can either take a cab but the price depends on the distance. Or if your hotel offers airport transfer you can book in advance for an airport pick-up on arrival. It is easy, cost-effective and quicker than taking a taxi because the driver should already be waiting for you at the airport.

Mostly travellers stay in towns like Oia or Fira because the view across the caldera is absolutely spectacular although you only can swim in a hotel pool because these towns are set on cliffs. Instead we chose to stay in Argiris Studios, Kamari – not only because it is close to the airport but also because it is just a few steps from Kamari beach.

Where to stay?

  • Accommodation: Argiris Studios
  • Location: Town of Kamari
  • Price: 700 € for 2 adults (9th June – 16th June)

Upon arrival a hotel manager welcomed us with the keys as well as the map of Kamari with his personal recommendations on what to do and where to eat. The room décor was all white with some touches of blue and it was very traditionally Greek with a modern and clean style.

The apartment location was a few steps from the beach-front boulevard, filled with restaurants and bars and the main part of the 7km Kamari beach. But this area is very pricey because it is always busy with holidaymakers, especially during the high season. Nevertheless, the apartment itself had en suite bathroom and a kitchenette with a fridge, so we could buy bits in the local grocery shop and keep them fresh for a couple of days.

Where to eat?

Greek food is delicious fresh and juicy and in Santorini there are tons of great restaurants. Although we picked some hotspots we visited that we would love to share and recommend:

  1. To Pinachio
  • Location: Kamari

Opening times:

  • Summer season: Daily: 13:30 – 00:00
  • Rest of the year: Monday – Friday: 18:30 – 00:00; Saturday – Sunday: 13:30 – 00:00
  • Price: Depends on what you order but it is reasonable and affordable
  • Our recommendation: Stuffed mushrooms

2. Peros Taverna

  • Location: Kamari
  • Opening times: 09:00 – 01:30
  • Price: Depends on what you order but it is reasonable and affordable
  • Our recommendation: Moussaka

Other recommendations: Argo Restaurant and Captain Nikolas in Fira

How to travel around the island?

Rent-a-car & motorcycle ‘Nicky’ in Kamari leases out cars, ATVs and motorbikes so you can travel around the island at your ease. This rental place was a minute walk away from Argiris Studios. When you cross the road opposite the studios you can see it in the distance. We decided to explore sites on ATV and the hire was so easy. The only condition except for a driver’s licence is to hand in your ID card as a guarantee and to return the vehicle with a full tank.

The rest is up to you. I can’t remember the price exactly but it was very affordable and simple! Although, the car rental might make travels around the island easier there are regular bus services as well.

THE ITINERARY

DAY 1 & DAY 2: Relax at the volcano beach – Kamari or Perissa

Kamari beach stretches for 7 km down to the south-eastern end of the island. A good alternative is Perissa beach, which is even longer. The whole island was the site of volcanic eruptions and therefore Santorini mostly has pebble beaches that looks like black sand fro above. You can find them all around the island but Kamari or Perissa are towns with the easiest access. Each of these beaches offers sunbeds, parasols and drinks from the beachfront hotels. All you need to do is to lay back, relax and enjoy the sun.

DAY 3: The archaeological sites

Ancient Thira

  • Opening times: Open daily except Tuesdays from 08:30 am until 14:30 pm
  • Price/Entry fee: 4 €/person

Santorini has a breath-taking history going back to times when Greek gods held the power over the world and if you love to explore the ancient leftovers and excavations this island is the right place to do so. One of them is Ancient Thira located right above Kamari or in between Kamari and Perissa. At first site it may look a bit too simple, but when you drive up there the view will blow you away – which is another BIG PLUS.

Access cannot be easier because all you need is to hire a car or ATV at Rent a car Nicky and take the zig-zag road up the hill. Alternatively, take one of the ‘Visit Thira’ tours from one of the tour shops down in Kamari, and book a tour with a return transfer. By the way, don’t forget to take a bottle of water with some snack because the walk around takes over an hour and there are very limited facilities there.

The ruins of Akrotiri

Opening times:

4 April – 31 October

  • Open daily, Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun from 08:00 – 20:00
  • Thursdays from 08:00 – 15:00
  • Mondays closed

1 November – 31 March

  • Open daily, Tue – Sun from 08:00 – 15:00
  • Mondays closed
  • Price/Entry fee: Full 12 €/person; Discounted 6 €/person

The archaeological site of Akrotiri referred to as the ‘Greek Pompeii’ was one of the most significant ports in the Aegean Sea in the 17th century. The site is located further than Ancient Thira but you can get there easily. By car/bus or ATV it is 20 – 30 minutes from Kamari and Fira; 25 – 35 minutes from Imerovigli and 45 minutes from Oia.

The ruins are the leftovers from the ancient Minoan town that was destroyed by volcanic ashes. The walls were made of mudbricks and on one side it is a foundation of houses built for its inhabitants and on the other prehistoric ceramics and vases. The suspended walkways above the ruins enable you to see perfectly every detail and because the ancient town has been preserved under the roof you can still visit even if the weather is unpleasant.

DAY 4: Day trip to Fira and/or Oia

Fira is the capital of Santorini and from the main port on the island regular boat service leaves to take to other stunning locations in the Cyclades or on Volcano and hot springs tours. The town itself offers tons of museums to visit as well as fantastic Greek delicacies either up the cliff with the view of the Caldera volcano in Argo Restaurant or down the port in Captain Nikolas.

Fresh ingredients from Mother Nature with seafood caught in the Mediterranean. To get to the port is easy you can either walk down a path or take a cable car that undoubtedly is another big thing to do in Fira. Having a ride down is faster but it cannot beat the scenery from cable car.

Santorini Cable Car

  • Opening times: Open all year around at various times depending on a period. But generally it runs every 20 minutes or 30 minutes.
  • Price: One way – adult ticket 6 €/person; 3 €/luggage; child 3 €/person; group ticket 6 €/person

Oia is very similar but still different. The town filled with souvenir shops, restaurants and perfect spots for perfect pictures. Tourists come to Oia to capture the sunset which is the main attraction there. So if you are one of them; get ready for hundreds of people because the view in Oia is unbearably beautiful.

DAY 5: Hot day under the sun, Movie night under the stars

Opening times:

  • May – October – opens at 20:30 and a movie starts at 21:30
  • Price/Entry fee: 8 €/person

After a few days spent exploring the sites it is time to relax and have some fun. Perhaps spend a hot day by swimming in the Mediterranean or sunbathing, and then at night see a movie in the moonlight. The place is called Kamari Open Air Cinema; besides the fantastic movies the cinema runs its own bar as well which means that you can have drinks, snacks or ice cream while watching.

Trees, bushes and flowers grow above across and through walls that make you feel like you are in the middle of a jungle.

Also, in case the temperature drops in the evening the front lounge deck-chairs have blankets supplied – so if you are cold just wrap up and enjoy the rest of the night. And there is also one little extra if you are a smoker. Because it is an open-air cinema, you can light a cigarette without leaving your seat. Well, with all these attributes thousands of movie enthusiasts enjoy this cinema every year, and it is no surprise that this theatre was announced by CNN as being among the top 10 outdoor cinemas worldwide!

DAY 6: Highlight of your stay – cruises with Barca’s Sailing

How to get there?

When we booked sunset cruise with Barca’s Sailing they offered return transfer for extra. Otherwise you need to get a cab or hire a vehicle and travel to Vlihada port on your own where a sunset cruise starts at 15:30.

  • Price: 270 € for 2 adults – 135 €/person
  • Availability: Morning Cruises; Sunset cruises; Private/Semi private Cruises

For our last day in this Greek paradise we went on a semi private sunset cruise through Barca Sailing – billed as an unforgettable experience. At 15:30 our driver arrived at the port where the crew was impatiently waiting to lift the anchor and sail away.  There were 10 people on our yacht, but the numbers will vary depending on the season and time of your voyage.

The cruise included a couple of stops for swimming and snorkelling. On the way to our first stop we sailed along Red Beach. Next we headed towards the volcano and hot springs passing the Indian Rock with the ancient lighthouse in Akrotiri where we jumped into the sea. Crystal clear waters, warm waves salty hair, hot breeze in the air. It was already amazing and it was only a half of our trip. Later we moved to the other side of the volcano where we stopped for a lovely BBQ dinner.

Food was prepared by the crew, using produce straight from the sea and served with typical Greek side dishes – shrimps, mussels with juicy vegetable salads, feta cheese and pasta along with soft drinks or a glass of wine, beer, water. DELICIOUS!

By the time we finished dinner it was time to head for Oia to watch the sunset, before sailing back to the port to end our trip.  The moment was truly unforgettable! We were standing in the golden light of a magical Mediterranean sunset, and it shone just for us. Even though we were on board with other visitors it felt like it is just us two together and no one else.

When the sun went down, the captain put music on and we ended the trip with a little goodbye dance party on deck. The day was fulfilling and so was our mission to have the best day on Santorini. Barca’s Sailing really kept their promise of a memorable experience!

DAY 7: Time to fly home

We hope you enjoyed reading this and it inspired you to visit Santorini! This island is magical and is waiting just for you to arrive.

HAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY!!!

Hi guys! We are Milica and Daniel or Millie and Dan, a happy couple with Slovak-Australian origins that love to travel. But not just randomly! We explore to show other couples how to spend good times together and experience some of the best times wining, dining and enjoying places. Does it sound good to you? Read more and get inspired! Read our story here >>
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